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Russian Socialists in the Struggle for Democracy

For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012.

Members of the Russian Socialist Movement, a small Marxist, anti-Stalinist organization active in the Russian left, have been participants in local electoral campaigns and in the protests. Two RSM activists, Valeria Kovelishina and Ilya Budraitskis talk about the Russian Socialist Movement, their electoral work, the protests for democracy in Russia and what they might mean for the future.

Witnessing the Collapse of Communism

Roundtable discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Participants include Timothy Garton Ash, Bridget Kendall, and Jens Reich.

Kasparov Sues Nashi for his Honor

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If you can’t beat them in the streets, try the courts.  That’s what Garry Kasparov looks to be doing with his 30 million ruble lawsuit against Nashi.  According to Kasparov’s camp the lawsuit is in defense of his “honor, dignity, business reputation and compensation for moral injury” inflicted by Nashi.  At the center are Nashi’s fryers which emphasize Kasparov’s American citizenship and allege that he’s “a traitor and a thief who wants to come to power in order to return Russia the oligarchic chaos of the 1990s.”  The lawsuit states that such rhetoric makes people think that he’s an agent of foreign powers’ efforts to plunder Russia.

Nashi has yet to give a response.  When they do I’m sure it will only contain more of the same rhetoric against Kasparov.  Or they might just laugh it off.  Since the “orange threat” has been “liquidated,” Kasparov legal revenge might not get more than an afterthought from Nashi.  At the moment the so-called “Democratic anti-fascist youth movement” is busy trying to mobilize it members against Kosovo independence and continue their protest against Estonia visa black list.  That said, I could see Nashi using Kasparov’s suit to its own advantage if these other efforts turn out to be a bust.